Journal of Environmental Protection, Oct 2012
The Levels of Toxic Air Pollutants in Kitchens with Traditional Stoves in Rural Sierra Leone
Eldred Tunde Taylor, et al.
Wood and charcoal fuels, widely used in Sierra Leone for cooking, may impact indoor air quality. Until now, there is presently lack of data to quantify the extent of impact. In this study, concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), suspended particulate matter (SPM) and carbon monoxide (CO) were measured in kitchens with wood and charcoal stoves during cooking in rural areas.
PAH contents of PM2.5 and PM2.5 – 10 fractions were analyzed using HPLC/FLD and SPM and CO were monitored in realtime. Mean ± SD concentrations of PM2.5 related Σ11PAHs, PM and CO were 2127 ± 1173 ng/m3, 1686 ± 973 μg/m3 and 28 ± 9 ppm for wood stoves; and 158 ± 106 ng/m3, 315 ± 205 μg/m3 and 42 ± 21 ppm for charcoal stoves, respectively.
PAHs were largely associated with PM2.5 than PM2.5 – 10. Maximum 1-hr time averaged ± SD CO concentration for kitchens with wood and charcoal stoves were 44 ± 21 ppm and 77 ± 49 ppm, respectively. Generally, concentrations of PAHs, PM and CO were higher than the WHO recommended guidelines which raise concern with regards to health risks. Given the existing evidence of reduced emissions of PAHs, PM and CO from cleaner fuels, a transition from cooking with wood and charcoal to cleaner fuels would provide an improvement in indoor air quality, a requirement for good health.